How to try this: the mini-cog

Am J Nurs. 2007 Dec;107(12):62-71; quiz 71-2. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000301030.81651.66.


As the population grows and the proportion of older adults increases, the incidence and prevalence of dementia are expected to increase dramatically. Health care providers' lack of awareness of current geriatrics practice and persistence in holding the outdated belief that confusion is a normal part of aging contribute to significant under recognition of dementia in all settings. Early recognition and diagnosis are critical to carrying out best practices in the care of older patients. The Mini-Cog is a simple, effective, easily administered screening tool that can uncover cognitive impairment in its earliest stages. The tool consists of a three-item recall task and a simple clock-drawing task. The Mini-Cog takes only three to five minutes to administer and requires minimal training. For a free online video demonstrating the use of this tool, go to

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / nursing*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Geriatric Nursing / education
  • Geriatric Nursing / methods*
  • Geriatric Nursing / trends
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • United States